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Tory MP Christopher Davies pleads guilty over expenses fraud

TORY MP Christopher Davies pleaded guilty today to two expense fraud charges.

His lawyer Thomas Forster QC told Westminster magistrates’ court that Mr Davies accepts his responsibility and expresses his “sincere and unreserved apology” for what he described as a “disastrous accounting episode.”

District judge John Zani said that although there was no financial gain for his actions he admitted “two very serious offences” which were “absolutely intended to deceive.”

The first charge was providing false or misleading information for allowances claims contrary to section 10 of the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009.

He admitted that in March 2016 he made a claim under the MPs’ allowances scheme and provided an invoice that he knew to be “false or misleading.”

The second charge was attempting to provide false or misleading information for an allowance claim using an invoice “that he knew to be false or misleading” in April 2016.

Both charges relate to around the time when he was setting up his Brecon and Radnorshire constituency office following the 2015 snap general election, the court heard.

The judge said as being an MP is a position of considerable responsibility and trust there is a need to be “meticulous in your claims.”

He referred the case to the crown court for sentencing as he did not consider the sentencing power of Westminster magistrates’ court to be sufficient.

Labour Party chairman Ian Lavery said: “Trust in politics and politicians is essential to our democracy. Chris Davies cannot remain a Tory MP after admitting to this offence.”

 

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